Stockton Blvd draft available

The Stockton Blvd Corridor Study draft is now available for review. It and some display boards reflecting the report can be downloaded at https://www.cityofsacramento.org/Public-Works/Transportation/Planning-Projects/Stockton-Blvd-Corridor-Study. The city is asking for feedback through email rather than another round of workshops.

I have not reviewed the report, but if I have comments to share, I’ll post them on the blog. My take on the earlier ideas are here: Stockton Blvd Corridor Study and Stockton Blvd needs trees.

I Street into Old Sacramento

The City of Sacramento sponsored Envision Sacramento website seeks input from the public on a number of issues. One of the topics was “What are your ideas on improving the Old Sacramento connection from downtown Sacramento via I Street?” You can view the comments, just below the survey, but to comment yourself you must create an account.

I Street entrance to Old Sacramento, from Envision Sacramento
I Street entrance to Old Sacramento, from Envision Sacramento

The topic uses the photo at right to illustrate the question. What you can’t see in the photo is that behind the photographer and across 3rd Street (to the left), pedestrian access is on the south side, but to the west, it is on the north side.

Comments include a number about the aesthetics of this entrance to Old Sacramento, including the having a dark freeway under crossing as the main route into the one of the highlights of Sacramento, with poor signing for motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. A surprising (to me) number of comments, though, were about the transportation aspects, that it is really not safe for bicyclists or pedestrians to use this entrance, even if they know it is there, and the paucity of other options. I think it is clear that the commenters agreed that the way in which Interstate 5 severed the connections between downtown and Old Sacramento is a major issue.

A gallery of photos shows some of the specific problems at this location.

Continue reading “I Street into Old Sacramento”

bike share for Sacramento

Washington DC's Capital BikeShare
Washington DC’s Capital BikeShare

Another major happening this last week in Sacramento was the announcement of progress in bringing bike sharing to Sacramento.

Chris Morfas presented to the SACOG Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee on progress in bike share. Fehr & Peers is writing a business plan for the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. The business plan will include solutions for serving low income people and those without access to credit cards or smartphones (most systems depend on one or both of these to operate).

Participants in the annual Cap-to-Cap trip to Washington DC, hosted by Sacramento Metro Chamber, experienced the new and highly successful bike share program there.

The bike share business plan should be completed by mid-summer, and the partners will then seek capital funding from SACOG and possibly private investors. The Sacramento system might be integrated with the bay area systems now being designed, with the Amtrak Capitol Corridor being a logical connection between the two.

See the Bike Share Bulletin_April_2013.

legislation update

There are several bills before the California Legislature that would affect bicycling, walking, and livability. For additional information, see Richard Masoner’s Cyclelicious blog (search for “legislation”) and the California Bicycle Coalition’s 2013 Legislative Agenda page.

AB-184: Statute of limitations: lengthens statue of limitation for hit and run, probably a good bill

AB-206: Vehicles: length limitations: buses: bicycle transportation devices (SacRT): amended to add an onerous process for approval, but probably still a good bill

AB-417: Environmental quality: California Environmental Quality Act: bicycle transportation plan: no changes so far, a good bill

AB-666: Automated traffic enforcement systems: violations: red light cameras, it restarts the program, but with civil rather than criminal penalties, supported by CaliforniaWALKS and California Bicycle Coalition; hearing in Assembly Judiciary 04/23/13

AB-738 Public entity liability: bicycles: no changes so far, still a bad bill; hearing in Assembly Judiciary 04/23/13

AB-840: Vehicles: driver’s licenses: application requirements: stripped of all bicycling knowledge language, now only requires that drivers license applicants acknowledge the dangers of distracted driving

AB-956: Vehicle accidents: fleeing: no changes so far

AB-1002: Vehicles: registration fee: sustainable communities strategies: changed to remove urgency language and detail use for sustainable communities; still a good bill; hearing in Assembly Transportation 04/22/13

AB-1179 Regional transportation plan: sustainable communities strategy: schoolsites: language slightly diluted, still a good bill

AB-1193 Bikeways: allows cities and counties to use industry standards rather than the requiring the use of the Highway Design Manual; language improved, a great bill; hearing in Assembly Local Government 04/24/13

AB-1194: Safe Routes to School Program; maintains SRTS program at state level, added non-infrasture, statewide coordinator, and TARC; better; hearing in Assembly Transportation 04/15/13, 1:30PM

AB-1290: Transportation planning: broadens representation on the California Transportation Commission and requires reports on progress of transportation agencies in reaching sustainable community goals; seems to be a good bill; hearing in Assembly Transportation 04/29/13

AB-1371: Vehicles: bicycles: passing distance: this bill originally had a different purpose, and was revised to be a three foot passing law, it looks to me to be good; hearing in Assembly Transportation 04/22/13

Please let me know if you are aware of any other bills. I’ve signed up for tracking on these particular bills, but may not be keeping up to date.

Bike Score

Bike Score for Minneapolis, with “heat map”

The next stage from the folks at Walk Score, Bike Score, is now available, for a select 10 cities. There aren’t any big surprises, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Madison are at the top.

Sacramento is not on the list of 10. If you’d like to see it there, you can go to the Bike Score page and tweet a vote for it. Please do!

Walk Score also recently released Transit Score, where Sacramento is listed, as 22 out of the 25 largest cities with accessible transit data, at a score of 32. Both the Bike Score and Transit Score are created at a city-wide level, unlike the address-specific Walk Score. So these rankings are just first steps, but nevertheless interesting and useful.

You may have seen articles in the media recently about the high correlation between walkability and housing prices, with walkable communities in high demand and unworkable suburbs in the doldrums. This is good news for all of us. Walk Score was in fact designed as a tool for helping people find real estate and apartments in places that fit their desired lifestyle. As the correlation between walkable, bikeable, transit-dense communities and livability becomes more clear, resources (societal and personal) will be shifted away from the suburbs to urban areas.